REDDING, Calif.—As part of its ongoing response to California’s tree mortality crisis, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will conduct aerial patrols in Shasta, Tehama, Lassen and Trinity counties on June 12 and 13 to identify dead trees that could pose a wildfire or other public safety risk.
“Five years of drought and bark beetle infestation in California have caused millions of trees to die or become structurally compromised. We’ve made significant progress to help reduce wildfire risk by removing dead and dying trees and we’re not slowing down. We will continue this critical safety work in 2018, Carl Schoenhofer, PG&E’s senior manager of PG&E’s North Valley Division.
Every year, PG&E inspects and monitors every overhead electric transmission and distribution line, either on foot or by air, with some locations patrolled multiple times. Since the tree mortality crisis began, the energy company has increased foot and aerial patrols in high fire-risk areas to twice a year and up to four times a year in some locations. In 2018, PG&E expects to patrol over half of its overhead distribution lines at least two times.
PG&E is using a contract helicopter service to fly foresters over the area to inspect trees. Patrolling by air allows the company to cover many miles quickly and efficiently, and reduces impacts on the ground. Residents are advised that the helicopter will fly low – at about 200 to 300 feet above the ground – along distribution power lines, and higher in areas where livestock are present.
On June 12, flights will occur over the Shasta County communities of Fall River Mills, McArthur, Cassel, Hat Creek and Old Station. Flights will also occur over the Lassen County communities of Nubieber and Bieber.
On June 13, flights will occur over the Tehama County communities of Manton, Paynes Creek, Dales, Mineral, Mill Creek, Lyonsville and Platina, as well as Shingletown in Shasta County and Wildwood in Trinity County.
Depending on clear weather conditions, flights will occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.